Have you ever wondered if you can buy duct tape at the rest stops along the I-87? Nope? Neither had we until this trip. It all starts on Monday morning, another rainy one in the Financial District. After showering, Rob ventured out for Starbucks coffee while I got the rest of breakfast ready: yogurt, banana, orange and granola bar. After breakfast, we packed up our shopping into our backpacks, put our still slightly soggy cycling gear into the pannier bags, and put the pannier bags onto the bike. The goal was to make one trip down squeezing down the narrow hallway onto the elevator for one floor, then down the two blocks to the parking garage. It was raining again, and I almost used the automatic umbrella I’d picked up at Century 21. But I didn’t think I could balance everything if the wind picked up, and you never know what might come around a corner when you’re that close to skyscrapers.

Platt Street, where the car was parked overnight, isn’t very wide, and it’s a one way. When they brought the car up, they positioned in a loading dock beside the entrance to the garage. That’s when Rob noticed something that wasn’t there before. At the back of the passenger’s side window, where it wraps around to the hatch, there was a hole the size of a fist, and the whole glass had shattered, but not caved in. We suspect they backed into a post that had something jutting out at that level. They tried to say it was like that when we dropped it off. Yeah, like we drove 9 hours with a shattered window! The attendant didn’t promise they would pay, but said to call the main office in two days. We filled out the paperwork, then Angel started making our temporary repairs so we could get home.

It started with multiple layers of duct tape across the shattered glass. This was followed by affixing a thick piece of plastic over the window. Then more layers of duct tape were put on top. It worked for a bit, then started to lift at the back. We had to stop at the first rest stop on the I-87 to fix it. Funnily enough, I had thought of asking Angel for the remainder of the roll, but didn’t. Hindsight is always 20/20. So yes, they do sell duct tape in small packages (about 10 percent of a regular roll) for $2.99. But it did the trick.

And, my leftover dinner survived quite nicely iced in the cooler bag, so I had a half chicken kaiser for lunch. The downside was that we couldn’t corner or go as fast as we normally would in the Mini. The upside was that we didn’t burn as much gas on the way back, even with our balloon-like rear passenger window. With every bump and corner, the glass became more unstable until eventually I would hear “plink, plink” as a pebble-sized piece would fall off onto the back seat. We lost about two fist sizes of glass in 9 hours of driving. It was strange watching all the traffic go zooming past us for a change. I think it was killing Rob to go so slowly, but he knew the risks of going to fast.

So two cycling ducks are ready to ride the rest of the week in the rain we brought back with us from New York.  At least it’s not swine flu! And Next time I’ll remember to pack the waterproof jacket, just in case. Still, all in all, a good weekend.